The world as seen by Republicans, in a land of myth and amnesia
Sunday 29th July 2012,
, Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
The dramatic turning point in the career of Will McAvoy, the once inoffensive network anchor in the new hit drama The Newsroom, comes when he's asked to explain why America is the best country in the world.
When school is out: gay-friendly education in the US
Friday 27th July 2012,
, Photograph: Mariah Karson
In the first graduating class at Milwaukee's Alliance High School, the valedictorian – the year's most distinguished student – scored a D+. "They were smart," recalls Tina Owen, the school's founder and lead teacher. "But a lot of them had not been going to school because they were being bullied, and a lot of them had problems at home. That year we had 15 kids. Five of them had lived with me at some point during the year, for one reason or another."
Congresswoman Barbara Lee: once the lone voice against the Afghanistan war
With her voice cracking and the nation still in mourning Barbara took to the floor of the House of Representatives on 14 September 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to give the sole speech and deliver the sole vote in Congress against the Afghanistan war.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee on her lone vote against the war in Afghanistan – video
Congresswoman Barbara Lee on her lone vote against the war in Afghanistan: 'It's about peace' – video
With Aurora, Another Mass Killing Shocks America. Why?
Wednesday 25th July 2012,
America needs to talk about gun control in the wake of the Colorado shooting
Friday 20th July 2012,
, Photograph: Barry Gutierrez/AP
The chorus of empathetic responses to the tragic shootings at the Aurora movie theater, near Denver, Colorado early Friday morning marks a stubborn refrain in a perennial American elegy. Different singers mouthing different words, but basically singing the same song.
How Mitt Romney is turning into the John Kerry of the 2012 election
Wednesday 18th July 2012,
, Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
Mitt Romney has a John Kerry problem. And I don't mean being a wavy-haired, wealthy francophone from Massachusetts (although, in this climate, that's burden enough for a Republican nominee). He's been framed. And so long as his opponent's attacks sufficiently fit this frame, then they do not need to be accurate, honest or reasonable. They just have to fit.
The Democrats can't lecture Romney about firing people
Sunday 15th July 2012,
, Photograph: Brooks Kraft/ Brooks Kraft/Corbis
Following the stock market crash of 1987 the US House subcommittee on telecommunications and finance needed an expert to explain the underlying impulses that had brought capitalism to the brink. So they asked a criminal. Dennis Levine, once a prominent player in mergers and acquisitions, was coaxed out of prison in New Jersey, where he was serving two years for insider trading, in return for a Big Mac, fries and a chocolate shake.
Who thinks about the consequences of online racism?
Thursday 12th July 2012,
, Photograph: Martin Rogers/Workbook Stock/Getty
In a world where few would deny the existence of racism but even fewer would ever admit to propagating it, there will always be the problem of agency. We have racism but no racists – a noun without a subject, a consequence that nobody caused, a system that nobody operates creating victims without perpetrators.
Noam Chomsky: 'The Occupy movement just lit a spark' – video
Noam Chomsky on the Occupy movement - video
The Fourth of July and my American son
Wednesday 4th July 2012,
, Photograph: AP
During my first week in the US, I went to the Mall in Washington, DC for the Fourth of July. With flags billowing and picnic baskets disgorging, I remember hearing John Wayne's voice, over a loudspeaker, extolling the nation's innate virtues, followed by a huge cheer. Within half an hour, he was joined by some Martin Luther King championing, once again greeted by applause.